Why Planning Ahead Is A Good Thing

July 30, 2011 § 3 Comments

So we bought a camper/trailer on impulse.

Well, we did spend a lot of time over the years talking about how great it would be to have one, especially as we lie in a nylon tent feeling the air leak slowly out of the blow up mattress we were going to have to sleep on for the night.

In between we had the fortune to be friends with folks who had their own cottages and are very generous in sharing of said summer getaways, but they still weren’t “ours”.

And so though we talked about a lot about buying a camper, we really did buy it before we gave any thought to exactly WHERE we would take it once we got it.

Which is exactly why I’m sitting here on Saturday evening of the August long weekend writing a blog post instead of in the middle of the woods living here…

for three days.  *sigh*  We got so caught up in just buying, making sure the electrical works, cleaning and stocking it that we left making reservations for a campsite too late.  We called half  a dozen local campsites and they were booked solid.

It’s true we may have found somewhere further away but we’ve never taken this camper beyond our driveway.  We’re not about to take a test run more than an hour away from home.  So we just wait until next weekend when people’s thoughts go back to work and getting ready for school (snicker) and we get the pick of the lot for next season.

In the meantime, I’ve already made progress with my fabric boot and have started hand stitching together the muslin layer.

I always hand stitch when I don’t know what I’m doing.  It’s waaaay easier to undo hand stitches than machine ones.  I’m also using pink thread because it contrasts and also easier to undo.

I may or may not use the muslin template in the finished boot, right now I’m just trying to create a workable pattern.

Honestly, I’ve made a lot of clothes and created my share of patterns – albeit of the simpler medieval sort – but the foot has to be the most complex part of the body to dress.  I’ve met myself a challenge.

Still I’m excited about it, even more now that I’m actually making tangible progress.

See, why planning ahead is a good thing.


Project 2011 – Part Deux – Wherein I Admit That I Do Things the Hard Way

July 29, 2011 § 4 Comments

A follow up to yesterday’s Project 2011 post.

Hard life eh? Time to just float around in the pool and blog incessently.  And no, this bit has nothing to do with the title of my post, I’m digressing.  But really, what’s the point in working hard for nice things if you’re not going to make the time to enjoy said nice things?  That’s my philosophy and it’s working out rather well for me.  What with the humidity and no air conditioning.  Yes, I like my pool…there I said it.  😀

Anyway, the point of this post is to share a revelation I had about why I’m making so little progress on the knitted/leather boots I’m working on.  Seriously, I set myself ONE measly goal for the rest of year and I can’t seem to get motivated.

I have the idea, a sketch, leather pieces already cut and waiting with no shortage of wool.  What I don’t have is a clue what I’m doing and it occurred to me that I might have better luck if I start with a fabric boot.  It’ll take much less time and having made countless lined bodices, gowns, capes and chemises, I also have a lot of experience with piecing curvatures and working with layers.  It makes sense that I should start in more familiar territory and then move on to the knitting.

So, I gathered up some bits (sorry for the fuzzy photo) and using a template I made of my own foot – yes, I’m part Sasquatch – I’m going to fashion myself a pair of fabric boots in the same design that I had in mind for the knitted/leather ones.

I should have at least one boot ready for next week’s post.

Project 2011 – Week Thirty

July 28, 2011 § 3 Comments

Wow, another week.  This is some major time running downhill action.  Seriously, it can stop now.  Only 22 weeks left in the year and I’ve been whiling away the precious hours…

Just floating in the pool…

Knitted what now?  Oh right, my Project 2011 goal…yeah, whatever.  I’ll get back to it.

Thanks as always to Cate @ Moments of Whimsy for hosting this sharing and support of our goals/resolutions for 2011.

Off to check out how you all are doing.  😀

Unschooling After Thoughts

July 26, 2011 § 6 Comments

We’re in the middle of a moderate thunderstorm right now. Woohoo!  It’s cooling the air nicely and the rain is watering the gardens.  Ahhhhhh.

Daughter just got her mark for the first unit of her Independent Learning course and she passed with a very nice grade.  Though we’re pleased she got a good grade, we’re more excited by the fact that she wants to continue. We’ve ordered another course and she’s excited to start working on her Science credit.

It’s definitely school on her terms and I’m just happy she’s enjoying it.

We have to look into whether or not we still need to inform the school board of our continuing intent to homeschool.  Every year since we withdrew Daughter from public school we’ve had to write a letter to confirm that.

This year however, Daughter turned 16 and in Ontario that’s the age of consent.  (Meaning she can decide to quit school and live on her own if she wants.  Scary, but true.)

Anyway, it’ll be relief if we no longer need to write that letter.  Not that it was a big deal in and of itself, it was just a form letter that I changed the date on, printed, signed and mailed.  A no-brainer.  What it is though, is the cutting off of the last vestiges of the “why do I have to explain to you” bee that buzzes around homeschoolers.

Whether they be radical unschoolers or the school at home sort, parents who decide to take a different approach to their child(ren)’s education are often subjected to some pretty annoying stereotypes, questions and opinions.  Many have incredible hoops to jump, lesson plans and tests they HAVE to submit and general justifications to provide, in writing.

My heart truly goes out to them and I know how fortunate we are that a stupid form letter is the worst of it.

For us though, it will still mean the end of an era. Not having to submit that letter will mean the end of looking back at where we’ve been coming from and focus more on the direction we’re going.

Oh, and the other thing…Daughter, who only two weeks ago turned 16, because of her summer COLLEGE course, now has a COLLEGE student ID number and is getting COLLEGE course information in the mail.  Did I mention she just turned 16?

Yeah, I totally ruined her prospects for post-secondary education by pulling her out of public school when she was 11.


I Used To

July 23, 2011 § 4 Comments

I used to lament my not yet done
I used to regret things I never did

I used to think I was already dead and done for
I used to think I could tortuously make up for

Things that were never my fault to begin with
Things that were never about me in the first place

I used to fantasize about some kind of you crowning me
I used to hold fast to my pain, anger and resentment

I used to believe my father when he told me I was the most important thing in the world
I used to believe my mother when she told me I would never live up to my potential

Letting them both down, I forsake goodness for knowing myself for what I am

I love my husband and children, I provide for their well-being, I am first on call to duty
I forsake my parents’ version of good parenting, I go the other way

I used to keep my children tightly underwing, a little too
I used to treat them as appendages more than people in of themselves

And now that I don’t and now that I’m trying something else
All I have to fall back on is what I used to


I Missed Week Twenty-Nine

July 23, 2011 § 4 Comments

I know I missed the Project 2011 post this week.  Sorry guys, but there just wasn’t much to report.  I’m still working on my knitted/leather boots but it’s going very slowly.

It’s very hard to sit still with a ball of wool in your lap when you’re going through a heat wave.  Though it’s not as hot as it was Thursday (47 C with the humidex) we haven’t had a whole lot of relief since then.  The standard temperatures are still in the low thirties with the humidexes in the mid to high range.

Right now I’d kill for 27C  without humidity.  It would feel like Spring compared to this (rolling eyes – that’s 80F).

Anyway, we were supposed to take the new camper out for its first test spin this weekend but with the forecast of constant heat and humidity, we opted to stay home near the pool.

We had to keep in mind that our beloved tent trailer is thirty years old and the canvas is just that…real, old fashioned, thick as plaster, canvas.  It’s not made of the modern polyester/nylon stuff that “breathes”.  Even though it holds up very well, better than the modern stuff I’m sure, in heavy winds and rain – as last week’s sudden storm attested to – I know for sure that in the heat, it is no refuge but instead more akin to a slow cooker.

In all honesty, as much as I’m dying to get out camping, it was kind of a no-brainer.


Our Pool – A Love Hate Relationship

July 21, 2011 § 4 Comments

Beauty eh?  In all honesty, I’m a very happy pool owner…now.

I didn’t always love the pool, in fact, there were a few years in a row when I had nothing to do with it and I actually begged Hubby to fill it in.  Yes, I’m grateful now that I didn’t get what I wanted then.

It’s just that when the kids were little, I was a nervous Nelly at the best of times and around water I would get near frantic. When there were other kids in the pool, I was even worse…if you can imagine.

I’ve gotten over now of course.  I’m older, wiser and more inclined to just say, “Hey, you better watch your kid, I think he’s drowning over there.”

And I’m really learning to love the time I spend it in by myself.  Last night I spent an hour just wandering through the shallow end with a hose blowing the bits of dirt and leaves into the deep end.  The vacuum, that Hubby knows how to work, will take care of the rest.

But on days like today, when the humidex reached 47 C  (116 F – Isn’t that like hot even for Texas?), is when the hate part comes in.  When it’s hotter than it’s been in ten years and I finally have a pool of my very own to swim in, instead I’m playing host.

Because where does everybody go when even the air conditioning doesn’t offer relief?  Hey! They have a pool!

Today “the pool” welcomed two teenager girls – Daughter and a friend, one eight year old nephew, one 30 something sister and her friend who brought along her 9 month old daughter and two 5 year olds that she cares for.  That’s eight right there, all at once, six of whom were totally unexpected.

I was a little frazzled but I kept my composure and just served cool drinks and light snacks, occasionally taking a few minutes to dip my feet in.  I guess I shouldn’t whinge too much, after all it is stoopid hot outside and everyone had a really good time.

But rest assured I’ll have a much better time when it’s just me, and maybe Hubby, reveling in our piece of the suburban stream, especially now with the new deck.


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